Tuesday, August 21, 2007


From the New York Post courtesy of AlterNet:

Wall Street traders don't mind committing the crime - it's doing the time that gives them the willies.

More than half of traders questioned in a recent survey said they would trade on illegal insider information if the deal allowed them to pocket a $10 million profit - provided there was zero chance they would be caught.


Ty Wenger, the editor of the magazine, attributed the high number of traders willing to commit a felony to the huge premium placed on their hav ing an edge. "That edge is the difference between being highly successful or going belly up; there is no guaranteed money," Wenger said. "Morality can't be a big part of the job."

More here.

And there you have a textbook example of why business must be regulated. In short, business cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Indeed, business is pretty much guaranteed to do the wrong thing, if it can get away with it. Of course, there is such thing as too much regulation or bad regulation, but you can count on business to almost always complain that all regulation falls into the "too much" or "bad" categories because, you know, business can't be trusted. That's why regulatory agencies need to be staffed by people from outside business, an idea that runs utterly counter to the Bush point of view, which essentially adheres to a "fox guarding the hen house" philosophy.

Really, this is all pretty obvious. Why on earth isn't it considered to be common sense?